Although people engage in charitable work throughout the year, during Ramadan many people double their donations and give zakat to different charities and NGOs. It has been estimated that Pakistanis donate nearly Rs554 billion annually. While people’s generosity is appreciable, it is also important that people make sure that your donations are utilised appropriately. Many people are misled by unregistered and unauthorised organisations that extort money from naive citizens for personal gains and other purposes.
Instead of donating to organisations arbitrarily, people should donate items or give money to individual recipients as it is likely to be more effective. Not everyone can make large donations; therefore, people should make small cash donations regularly to needy individuals. This is easier because we come across many needy people daily and one can avoid doubts about the use of their donations. Often mosques and madrassas also have the means to collect smaller donations, which people can resort to.
Although individual donations help many, there is also a need for people to engage in more impact-oriented philanthropy. The different NGOs and civil society organisations must adopt transparency and accountability so that people can trust them. They must expand their fundraising networks among the public and inform people that giving to organisations has a greater impact than giving to individuals. Also, the relevant authorities should take necessary measures to protect valuable donations from being misused by taking strict action against those found misusing donations or extorting money.